13 places to go for a walk in Sunderland
We love to explore where we live, Sunderland has some really good places to go for a walk. There's also some pretty cool photo opportunities too, if that is what you are looking for.
Before lockdown we used to have a habit of going further afield to enjoy a long walk but since travel restrictions we have really been exploring our local area even more than we ever did before. It has definitely made me appreciate what we have right on our doorstep more.
I have put together this list of the 13 most popular walks that our family like to go on, now that the boys are a bit older we like to explore the more harder to get to walks that we couldn't do when the boys were smaller.
Please take into account social distancing at this time.
Cox Green - James steel park . This is one of my favourite walks, some spectacular views and you might spot some wildlife too. Limited facilities available here, though there are toilets, near the bridge at Fatfield and some of the woodland path is not accessible to pushchairs or wheelchairs. Parking available, located at different points for free. You can also walk right under the gorgeous Victoria viaduct.
Tunstall Hills Nature reserve - Another of our very local nature reserves. With various routes to take, open fields and some fantastic views over Sunderland. Great if you just want to have a run about or kick a ball around for 10 minutes. We tend to walk down the hill and find the narrow paths that lead into Ryhope.
No facilities here, not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Free small car park.
Herrington country Park - This is one of the biggest open spaces in Sunderland, great for a long walk, feeding the ducks (Seed please), picnics.
Large play area, toilets, cafe all on site along with free car parking.
I highly recommend going a bit further than the main lake and play park as it is prettier and quieter.
Roker Marina and Riverside - A nice relaxing walk, you can have a wander around the marina have a look at some of the boats and combine it with a walk along the riverside. See which sculptures you can find. You could even pop into The National Glass Centre. Parking is £3 for a full day. Toilets are in The Glass Centre which also has a Cafe.
Seaburn to whitburn - Try one of the treasure trails with the kiddies and enjoy the fresh sea air. Toilets can be found on the seafront, please consider the local, independent businesses for your coffee and ice creams. Accessible to all.
Ryhope Dene - I grew up in Ryhope and would walk here when I was little. I love taking the boys and Craig. You can go through the woodlands down to the beach (look out for sea glass) or you can just take a walk on the cliffs. No facilities, no car park, terrain may be difficult for accessibility. If you are looking for Sea Glass try parking further along at Seaham and heading down there, as it is easier to access, although it is quite a lot busier than the Dene.
Silksworth Lakes - One of our local walks, we love going for a walk here. It is peaceful, pretty and you always see some interesting wildlife. Most of the paths are suitable for all, but there are one or two trickier areas to watch for.
Toilets are located in the Ski Slope and leisure centre. Plenty of parking if you follow the signs for the ski slope. There's also a pretty big playpark located at the leisure centre.
Doxford Park - I love Doxford Park. It is so pretty, you can explore the secret garden and take a walk around the park. You will need to wear wellies as it can be a bit muddy.
No facilities, closest toilets and cafe are at Morrisons, which is at the opposite end of the park to the car park, which is small. We recently spotted a beautiful Tawny Owl here.
Barnes Park - Barnes park is our closest park. Unfortunately it can get quite busy but we have worked out what time to go when it's quiet. Toilets on site but for some reason get locked up at 3pm. Car parks available at either end of the park and two play parks, tennis/basketball court and even table tennis. Plenty of ducks to be fed (with seed please) and look out for the wild terrapins.
Elba Park - A site that was actually created to build housing on. It has been turned into a park whilst they build on different sections. Nice little walk actually. Few spots to park the car but no toilets. Accessible to all.
Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve - Rainton Meadows is a great place to go for a morning walk. With various trails, plenty of birds to spot and tadpoles,water scorpions and other little critters. Toilets, cafe, parking and wild playpark all on site.
Backhouse Park - Often overlooked, but still beautiful at any time of year. A few different paths to take around the park. Large playing field to the top. Also a small playpark. Parking is on the road to the sides of the park on the road/path. Accessible to all but no toilets.
Penshaw Monument - A sign that we are home when we have been travelling. Steps to the top and it's pretty steep. Nearest toilets are across the road at Herrington Country Park along with parking. Worth the walk up just for the view. Keep an eye out because NT sometimes let you go to the top of the monument.
Where do you like to go for a walk? Have I missed your favourite spot? let me know.